PETALING JAYA: Barely one week ago, the Malaysians were pointing fingers at the Indonesians for failing to provide adequate security during the Tiger Cup first leg semi-final at the Senayan Stadium in Jakarta on Dec 28.
Malaysian team manager Datuk Seri Dr Ibrahim Saad complained that adequate security was not provided during that match.
Malaysian players, officials and fans were pelted with bottles, stones and missiles during the game. Ibrahim sent an official complaint to the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) and Asean Football Federation (AFF).
One day before the second leg at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil, the local organising committee (LOC) the FA of Malaysia (FAM) headed by Dr Ibrahim promised tight security for the match.
On Tuesday, in front of Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Azalina Othman Said, FAM deputy president Tengku Mahkota of Pahang, Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah and AFC secretary general Datuk Peter Vellapan, Malaysian and Indonesian fans clashed at half-time during the second leg match at Bukit Jalil.
Malaysia lost 1-4 on the night and 3-5 on aggregate. Equally embarrassing was the fight in stands behind the Malaysian goal.
The fans were not well segregated and there were no Federal Reserve Unit (FRU) and policemen to control the fans in that particular area.
Initially, the fans pelted each other with bottles and missiles and then they fought with each other just as referee Kunsuta Chaiwait got the second half under way.
The FRU and the police moved in and restored order.
However, the FAM claimed that there was adequate security during the match and the security personnel has acted quickly.
The fans were also reported to have clashed outside the stadium after the match.
FAM secretary general Datuk Dell Akbar Khan said: It was an embarrassing incident. I believe its the first time an incident like this has happened during an international match.
Everyone should understand that winning and losing is part of the game. Of course emotions can run high when your team lose but physically fighting with each other should be avoided at all cost.
The separation of the fans was done well. The incident happened in the isolated part of the stadium where the separation between the fans was loose but not in the centre where the majority of the fans were seated.
I was with the Kuala Lumpur Chief of Police Deputy Comm Datuk Mustafa Abdullah on the track during the entire match to monitor the situation, added Dell.
When they started fighting we immediately went over to control the situation. The KL Police and the FRU did a good job.
However, it was embarrassing to see the Indonesian players and officials getting pelted with bottles when they headed for the dressing room.
I also have read reports that there were clashes outside the stadium and some fans were injured.
But so far we have not received any police reports on the fights.
We at FAM cant do anything at the moment, no formal reports have been made. When reports are made, it will become a police matter, the police will have to take the necessary action, said Dell.